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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

PABGAKi KOSI.                                                     3

In Kehama. They all professed to be Gopis, or milk-maids, and are in fact, as
the tMnadar assured me, the wives and daughters of the Gw&la caste. Their
voices and style of singing were by no means unpleasant ; they had all the appear-
ance of extreme poverty, and I thought a rupee well bestowed upon them,
for which they were very thankful." There can be no doubt also that this is the
place to which John de Laet, in 1631, alludes in his India Vera? though he
calls it Akbar-pur, the name of the next village. " This was formerly a consi-
derable town ; now it is only visited by pilgrims who come on account of many
holy Muhammadans buried here." Annual fairs are still held in honor of
three of these holy men, who are styled Hasan Shahid, Shall Nizam-nd-din,
and Pir Shakar-ganj, alias BabŁ Farid. The shrines, however, are merely
commemorative and not actual tornbs ; for Hasan, c the Martyr/ is probably
Ali's son, the brother of Hussain ; Nizam ud-din Aulia is buried at Delhi ;
and the famous Farld-ud-din Ganj-i-Shakkar lies at Pak Patan near the
Satlaj,

ij population 3,771, six miles from Kosi on the Grargaon border, is still
a populous Jat town with a considerable trade in cotton ; but in the early part
of last century was a place of much greater wealth and importance, when a daugh-
ter of one of the principal families was taken in marriage by Thakur Badan Sinh
of Sahar, the father of Suraj Mall, the first of the Bharat-pur Rajas. On the out-
skirts of the town is a large walled garden with some monuments to his mother's
relations, and immediately outside it a spacious masonry tank filled with water
brought by aqueducts from the surrounding rakJiya. This is more than a thou-
sand acres in extent, and according to village computation is three kos long,
including the village, which occupies its centre. For the most part the trees are
exclusively the pilu, or salvidora oleoides, very old, with hollow trunks and
strangely gnarled and distorted branches. The fruit, which ripens in Jeth, is
sweet and largely eaten by the poor, bat as a rule not sold, though some is
occasionally dried and exported. A Bairagi of the Nimbarak Sampradaya, by
name Mangal Bas7 has a hermitage with a small temple of Bihari Ji, in the
midst of some fine kadamb trees, which form a conspicuous group at one end of
the rakhya. He has a great reputation for sanctity and the offerings made
during the last 80 years have enabled him to have a fine masonry tank con-
structed, of great depth, at an outlay of Rs. 2,500 ; from its appearance it might
be taken to have cost even more. It is filled to the brim in the rains, but soon-
becomes dry again ; a defect which he hopes to obviate by paving it at the bottom.
It is about half a mile from the village and is a pretty spot* Had I remained
in the district, I should have got the tank finished ; arrangements were being